CVM says there is no stop order or any restrictions against the company
Binary options broker Quotex, a rival to IQ Option, has been using a strategy to block the accounts of users who are profiting on the platform, with general allegations that usage rules have been violated. More recently, it has been accused of running out of deposits: the customer would send by PIX, the money would be debited from the account, but it would not fall into the wallet.
On the consumer protection website “Reclame Aqui” the number of complaints soared: from 120 complaints in August to 410 in September. The company follows a pattern already seen in fraudulent schemes: at first, it responds generically to all complaints made on the site, in order to gain a good reputation and gain the trust of customers. Then disappear.
Blocked by Quotex
The case of three friends illustrates how the company has operated. Lucas Dantas, 27, is a trader and recently started trading at Quotex. After investing in a strategy that proved profitable, he accumulated $25,000 in his portfolio. However, when he went to make a $3,000 withdrawal, he couldn’t.
“They simply blocked access, sent an email saying that I had given my account to a third party to operate and claimed that I was also operating with a robot. There is no way to trade binary options with robot. I sent an email disputing this, but nothing. They simply blocked the account and it was gone”, says Dantas in an interview with the Bitcoin Portal.
An identical case occurred with graphic designer Marcos Antônio Almeida, 37 years old. After a profit and loss start, he found a profitable strategy. When he went to make a withdrawal, he received an email saying that his account was blocked because it was operated by third parties and robots.
“They said that I was operating following the recommendation of a country I had never heard of. I’ve always operated from the same computer, the same machine, the same geolocation”, says Almeida.
Photographer Everaldo Lima, 31, a friend of Marcos and Lucas, was luckier. When he opted to cash out, he had to send several documents, take selfies and make videos, but in the end he managed to. But he points out that the platform has gross errors and acts in bad faith: when it realizes someone is making a profit, it blocks the account with a generic allegation of breach.
“There was a day when I lost $80 operating. The next day that amount was back in my wallet. My cousin won $40, but the platform simply registered that she lost,” he says.
Respondents operated with a binary option, in which the investor chooses two currencies and makes a forecast of how they will appreciate or depreciate in the coming days. According to Professor Isac Costa, a former analyst at the Brazilian Real Estate Securities Commission (CVM), “both binary options and Forex — which are different activities — are considered derivatives and, in this case, they must be authorized by CVM.”
CVM has not yet issued any stop orders against Quotex. CVM had not yet returned the request from the Bitcoin Portal to find out if the brokerage house is authorized to operate in Brazil.
YouTube to advertise
On Youtube, another indication that it is a scam. Several videos show “traders” explaining how to earn exorbitant profits using Quotex in minutes. In other cases, what was found is that YouTubers received commission for each person they convinced to put money into the scheme.
IQ Option Schema
The situation resembles the IQ Option scheme. In 2020, the Cyprus-based brokerage was propagated by fake traders on Youtube and Instagram who promised wealth from binary options bets and received hefty commissions for every new affiliate taken.
And the scheme worked: IQ Option’s website became the 23rd most accessed in the country, according to Alexa’s traffic analysis. On Google Play’s national store, it was among the 150 most downloaded apps.
The reason for the success of the IQ Option scheme was due to the massive dissemination of the platform on YouTube. There were dozens of ads and traders’ channels that taught techniques to make money with promises of fast and high profits. In addition to the sale of courses, the broker’s troop of influencers earned 40% on each loss of new users — which refers to a multilevel marketing system.
The CVM banned the brokerage from operating by the Brazilian Securities Commission (CVM), but even so the fraudulent scheme continued for a long time.